The forecast was not so favourable today so when we went to the boat, we were only expecting to check on her and have coffee before returning home again. But, the sun was shining and the wind not so strong so we decided to take here out for a short motoring trip.
First we had to use a brush to remove most of the snow on deck. In the meantime, the engine was run in slow forward and slow reverse to disturb the water and break the ice. We also used the thruster to further clear the ice closest to us.
We take care not to tie any lines to the cleats; we just use spliced loops that are easy to lift of even when they are frozen. Having freed a small area behind the boat, we carefully reversed out and then went bow first through the thin layer of ice in the marina.
We motored for an hour or so well protected from the chilling wind under our cockpit tent. Coffee and frech buns (from the store) tasted extra good while we were watching an archipelago covered in snow.
We also took some time to try out the new radar and plotter. This year’s Xmas presents to Sally have been an Axiom 12+ plotter and Quantum radar to replace our 15+ years old system. A lot of new features to learn and still some adjustments to be made but up it is and running!
Coming back, we once again had to cut through the ice. The dock is approached slowly and lines picked up carefully with the boat hook. No stepping on the dock, just careful line handling from the boat using prepared spring lines on the dock and thruster to align the boat. Everything is slippery and the water, as can be seen ice cold.
We never found the time to tell you about how our summer ended. Work and life in general took up all our time. Well, here it is – finally.
The plan was to sail to Skagen, on the northern trip of Denmark, before heading home. The forecast for the coming days showed consistent winds between E and NE – dead on the nose. Not our favourite.
So we sailed on a close reach directly to the Swedish west coast. Sadly missing the lunch we had been looking forward to at historic Brondums (Brøndums Hotel), our favourite in Skagen.
We had a lovely week visiting some new places on the coast before Eva had to leave to start work. Hakan sailed one more week before returning home. By then it was end of September with rain and wind in the forecast.
It was nice to be back on Laesoe (Læsø). We have been here several times before and like the island. It is very flat, the highest point being some sand dunes around 25 m above sea level. This makes it very pleasant to cycle but, also sometimes boring as there long straight stretches of roads.
We stayed in Vesteroe (Versterø), the harbour on the west side of the island. This time we were somewhat disappointed that the small scale brewery just south of the village had closed down. If we understood correctly, they have now outsourced the brewing and their beer was no longer to be found in the local supermarket.
Laesoe is a centre for crayfish and it has been possible to by directly from the local trawlers. Hakan tried one morning but the boat he found did not have any but, they did have a most impressing lobster at €20 that was cooked before breakfast.
We left Aero after breakfast Saturday and sailed east and then north up Lillebelt west of Fyn. We had a mostly sunny downwind sail in a fresh breeze with the genoa on the boom to windward. The wind turned from E to almost S as we headed more and more north so the sails stayed the same almost all day.
We looked at the forecast and saw that the following days had favourable winds. The decision was then made to use this to take us closer to home in the hope that we may have some days on our cost before Eva had to go back to work.
We found a nice bay on the south side of Kolding fjord to anchor in the first night. Having decided to carry on northwards, we left a little bit earlier yesterday. We were now going more eastwards so we had a long reach hard on the 20+ knot SE wind.
The current coming out of the Baltic gave us a push and we made good speed. We could ease the sheets turning north at Samso. The wind settled down and we thought it might be possible after all to enter the small, and quite exposed, harbour of Tuno, another favourite island.
But, just as we had shred the sailing gear and put on shorts, the wind came back in full force again so we had to carry on. We arrived after six in the protected harbour of Ebeltoft. This time, we tried the “Fregat harbour” by the museum, excellent, and cheaper than the main harbour.
Having spent several days here a week ago, we did not even go shore. We just had dinner and a good night’s sleep before sailing again half past seven today. The wind was again SE at 20+ knots. We sailed out doing 5 knots under reefed main only while we had our breakfast.
We had the wind and substantial waves on our nose after rounding up to go around the headland so we decided to test our new engine in ruff conditions for the first time. It worked well and we could not tell any difference in power compared to the old one even if we now are down from nominal 48 to42 hp.
We could unfurl the sails again after a bumpy and wet hour. A close reach and following current gave us 8+ knots over ground – still bumpy and wet. It is in conditions like this that you find out where you have your leaks. We found on in one of our new smaller deck hatches.
To our immense delight, and for the first time ever, there were no leaks in the forward cabin. And, noting from the renovated deck except from in one of our new smaller deck hatches. So, a winter’s work has paid off.
There are not so many good and nice harbours on this coast. Around 11 we had two choices. Vi could carry on close reaching to Anholt, around 30 nm and 4-5 hours away. Or, we could ease off a little on the sheets and head north to Laeso (Læsø) 65 nm away. The days are shorter now and it is getting dark around eight.
In order to arrive in daylight, we needed an average speed over seven knots. Not something we normally count on for longer spells. We checked wind and current forecasts and they were favourable all day.
There is very little tide in these waters. Instead, the currents are dependent on surface pressure and a high was moving in over the northern Baltic punching water out along our way for at least another day. So we gambled, eased of on the sheets and sailed north, in the beginning averaging over 9 knots. The wind and see settled in the afternoon and the reef in the main was unfurled. We arrived in Laeso Vesterhavn around seven, having averaged close to 8 knots over 88 nm from port to port.
We left Lohals after breakfast yesterday and sailed down to Aero (Ǽrø). We had following winds and sunshine to the beautiful but winding Svendborg sound. And, then again down to Aero.
Aero (Ǽrø) is our favourite island in Denmark and we love the old town of Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) where we always try to more in the old harbour. Here the fees are even more modest than in Lohals but, no bikes include.
Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) is like a museum town were time stopped a hundred years ago. It used to be a centre for sailing costal traders. And when the trade died out, the town lost its drive – until the tourists arrived…
We have visited several times. This time around we cycled on the island. A 30 km ride on our small bikes took us on winding small roads to lovely scenery and the local brewery and, gave us sore behinds.
There are many beautiful cycle paths around the island. Our first followed the NE shore and then we took a shortcut across the island to another one close to the SW shore, which we left for the brewery in Store Rise. The local brewery has a variety of beers and ales. Our favourite is their walnut bear.
We left Samso early and as the wind was still from the NE. We decided to go east of Fyn. The forecast was for a gradual change over some days towards SE and in the end S so, with some luck, we would be able to sail all the way around Fyn with following winds.
By now, we are well into our holiday mood and it is quite easy to give up on ambitions to sail every day and long distances. Rügen and Bornholm will have to wait until another year.
We made good way down the Storebælt towards the impressive Bridge reaching with our Code 0. We started discussing where to go after passing the bridge. This route was new to us. Hakan sailed here once at night in 1977 but, that does not count.
Our favourites from earlier sails were quite far away, south of Fyn. Then, we found a harbour on the west side of Langeland, near the northern point, that looked interesting so we decided to go there.
Lohals turned out to be a nice, small harbour well protected from the expected winds. The harbour fee was reasonable and included all services and free bikes. Hakan needed to work some today so we stayed
There was time enough between meetings for a 20 km cycling tour of this lovely island including a stop for coffee. And, returning to the harbour we found that the harbour grill had excellent fish and chips and bear on special offer. But, it was cash only so Eva had to cycle up the hill to an ATM whilst Hakan drank his first bear.
We had a very nice and fast gennaker sail down from Ebeltoft yesterday arriving at lunchtime in Ballen harbour on the east coast of Samso (Samsø). There, we were met by good friends from our winter on the Algarve coast.
They have since then bought a house in the centre of the island and has now lived here for over four years. Unfortunately, we have not been able to visit them due to Corona restrictions until now.
They took us on a car ride across this beautiful island and among other things showed us two more nice harbours (for our next visit). And, we were treated to a lovely dinner in their home with lots of superb vegetables from their garden. It was so nice to finally meet again.
Our plan was to leave this morning but the onshore wind was strong and we felt that we were old enough and had time enough to wait for the wind and seas to settle. So, we have had a lazy day today with some work on the boat. We had a visit from our friend for coffee and a taste of a honey cake made with honey from their bees.
Afterwars, we got a ride to a farm with eco vegies and bought a rucksack full before walking back to the harbour. It will be an early night tonight and an early start tomorrow. We have yet to decide which side of Fyn we will sail.
Ebeltoft is a 700 year old small Danish town on the east coast of Jylland at the northern end of Samso bay. We made a short stop heat last time (2017) and this time we wanted to see more of this nice tow, said to be one of the best representatives of typical Denmark (of old?). Its old buildings and streets are to a large extent preserved. It is a bit of the normal rout but, well worth the effort of the extra 10 nm.
Entering the harbour we had a real scare. The engine stopped as we were turning to align to our mooring. Luckily, there was room enough to manoeuvre and speed to turn around and unfurl the genoa and sail out of the harbour. At anchor outside the harbour we checked filter and other stuff but, did not find anything wrong.
So we started again and the engine ran like clockwork, also under load. We dared to enter again after 30 minutes of motoring around. We did a more thorough check the following day. No dirt, air or water in the filter and, again no problems running loaded.
If anyone has similar experience, please let us know. It is very unnerving to have a problem without explanation and unable to replicate. Was it a one-time hiccup from dirt, water or air? Can we trust the engine in a potentially dangerous situation?
We have now spent two days in this lovely town. It claims to host the world’s largest wooden ship, the gaff rigged naval ship Jylland built in oak and equipped with an auxiliary steam engine. It is on display in a dry dock and has its own museum.
The world’s smallest city hall stands on the town square (to the right in the picture). Every Saturday, like today, there is music on the square. Today, it was traditional New Orleans Jazz. Some of the members in the band had obviously had long experience of playing.
It was interesting to note that the local sports clubs did not run lotteries or sell simple street food. Instead, and (at least in our slightly prejudice minds) true to Danish tradition, they provided ample supply of reasonably priced bear to the audience.
A hazy evening on the bay outside the harbour just before sunset.
We have had a lovely peaceful day in perfect summer weather on the Danish island Anholt today. We took a long walk on this unique island after arriving yesterday evening. The island is basically a large sand dune and the eastern part is by definition a dessert. Our walk did not take us that far, next time…
Today we cycled even further and had a lovely lunch in the quiet garden of “Tanternas hus” (The old ladies house) in the small village. The old ladies turned out to be in their twenties; maybe they plan to keep the place for a long time.
We sailed over from Sweden yesterday after some days going south along the coast with cray fish party on Saturday and dinner with friends on Sunday. At anchor on Monday afternoon, we finally got our new AIS working. It is now possible to follow us again.
We had a hectic two days at home. On Thursday morning we picked up the new autopilot and it was up and running, steering the boat on a short test run, by nine in the evening. A major part of the work was to remove the old pilot and AIS without removing anything we needed in order to keep the rest of our old instrument running. We are still using the old motor drive for the quadrant, with the new one as spare.
A new autopilot meant the introduction of a third network on board. We now have the old and new Raymarine Seatalk and Seatalking respectively in addition to the NMEA2000. Friday was spent trying to make all three of them to communicate, and to supply data to our laptop. Most of it is working and, after the start-up of the AIS, the only thing we cannot see is AIS signals from other ships on our old E80 plotter. But, we see them on the computer and on our new i70 multi instrument so we were OK passing the major shipping lanes to and from the Baltic yesterday.
After a very long period of fitting out and “restoring” after the renovation work on deck and cabin rooftop and the new engine, we are now finally sailing again.
We did a “short shake-down” cruise in late July before she was finished and then continued the work. Now most (of the important) things are in place and we are enjoying a few days on the cost. We will be back in Ljungskile Thursday and Friday for a number of “must do” things, plus loading up with more stuff and putting more things back on the boat. We are leaving again on Saturday for a four week sail in Scandinavia, weather permitting (or rather good enough for us to want to sail).
Our navigations instruments are slowly giving up on us, maybe not surprising after 15 years and close to 30 000 nm. So far this year, we have lost the AIS transmitter and one repeater instrument. And, yesterday the autopilot gave up. New things have been ordered and we hope to be up and running, except for the not so necessary repeater, when we leave again on Saturday. And you will be able to follow us on Marin traffic and similar sites again.
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